The Duke’s Temptation
Men of Circumstance #1
By: Addie Jo Ryleigh
Releasing Oct 7th, 2015
Soul Mate Publishing
A Duke. A Runner. An Earl.
Three men, each born into different circumstances.
Each fighting to overcome their own adversity.
All striving to change their past.
Gabriel St. James, Duke of Wesbrook, desires any birthright other than being the son of a hideous man. Unfortunately, Gabe knows the exact moment he became like his father—a night that has haunted him for seven years. Resigned to his future, he is unprepared when his illegitimate—and more importantly unbeknown—young daughter appears on his London doorstep. With no one to care for her but him.
Lady Elizabeth Blakely has loved only one man—her brother’s longtime friend, Gabe St. James. Not even his rakish and, oftentimes, wicked behavior dissuades her. Yet it all seems hopeless as he continues to overlook the woman she has become.
When Elizabeth learns Gabe is in need of assistance with his daughter, she seizes the opportunity. Gabe, less than thrilled with the situation—mostly due to his fierce desire for his best friend’s sister—has no option but to concede. Besides, a more sinister threat lurks; someone is blackmailing Gabe with his darkest secret. Through it all, Gabe vows to resist Elizabeth, no matter how tempting.
Sometimes it’s better to surrender . . .
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26931389-the-duke-s-temptation?from_search=true&search_version=service
Buy Links: AMAZON The Duke’s Temptation (Men of Circumstances Book 1)
On the surface, Gabriel St. James, the Duke of Wesbrook appears to have it all. He’s wealthy, handsome, charming, and popular with the ladies. But the life he leads – the gambling, drinking and womanizing – only serves to prove that he’s just like his debauched father. Once he started growing into adulthood, his (now deceased) father used every trick and manipulation to lead Gabe into all kinds of vice, and convinced him that their depravity was in the family blood, and there was no escaping it. Now, years later, Gabe believes the lie fully, though he carries guilt for some of the things in his past. If all this weren’t enough, his three year old daughter, Phoebe, shows up at his door – a daughter who is the spitting image of him, a daughter he never knew existed.
Elizabeth Blakely is the sister of Marcus, Gabe’s best friend. She has loved Gabe for years, but he still treats her with the same teasing affection he did when they played together as children. She doesn’t know that Gabe is well aware that she’s grown up, and is using all his will power to stay away. When Elizabeth overhears Gabe moaning over the fact that he can’t find a suitable governess for his young daughter, she decides to make a play to gain Gabe’s attention. She offers to act as governess, until a suitable one is hired, and she’ll bring along an aunt to chaperone, so there will be no gossip. Gabe initially turns her down, but then relents out of desperation.
With Elizabeth and Gabe living under the same roof, it’s harder to hide their attraction. Couple this with the affection they’ve always had for each other, and the sparks start to fly. Despite himself, Gabe soon finds himself loving Elizabeth and his daughter, something he didn’t think he was capable of. Yet, he stubbornly clings to the image of himself as being a man who can never be faithful, and will only hurt people who love him. Despite this flaw in his character, I really liked Gabriel. He’s strong and protective, and his pushing people away is really what he thinks is for their own good. It brought a smile to my face when he realized he was actually beginning to love his little daughter. Elizabeth was strong and determined to make her best effort to win Gabe’s love. I loved her generous nature, including her care of Phoebe, who is one of the most brave and delightful three year olds you’re likely to encounter.
The Duke’s Temptation is very well written, especially for a debut novel. The story flowed nicely, and I read it in two sittings. It’s very unlikely that in those times, a lady would be able (even with a chaperone) to live in a single gentleman’s home and care for his illegitimate daughter without being ruined, but that’s the beauty of fiction. If you need more than romance to tempt you, this book also offers murder, kidnapping and extortion. I enjoyed this read very much, and will definitely look for Addie Jo Ryleigh’s next offering in the Men of Circumstance series.
Addie Jo lives in the same cold winter and hot summer area of Minnesota where she was born and raised. And frankly, wouldn’t live anywhere else. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband that so graciously enabled her to fulfill her dream of writing. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, Addie Jo reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not driving her children around central Minnesota, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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